Love in the Time of Black Queer Death, Redux

“For black queers, survival has always been about finding ways to connect some of what is disconnected, to embody and re-member. This is the social erotics of love at work. The intersubjectivity evidence by black queer love is “that conjure medicine that helps heal the psychic wounds of enslavement.” Thus our work here is both a labor of love and evidence of it, perforce.” — Jafari S. Allen.

**Originally written Dec 2015, re-written on the eve of Trump's inauguration**

I no longer fear sudden death, these days I anticipate it. Grief has become too familiar. And too often, I have seen queer black bodies bruised and bloodied in the name of senseless violence and dominance. We have been ousted and outed by hateful tongues attached to people too cowardice to look us in our eyes and see our humanity. We have felt the familiar brunt of fists against our cheeks. We have licked and healed wounds left by words hissed from bitter mouths.

There are two sides to my psyche—the side that craves blood for blood, death for death. The side that wants to rage and yell and fuck shit up. There’s also my peaceful side. My tender side. My loving side. They battle often for dominance over my reality and morph into a single entity. (Who am I to deny their right to exist? And my right to feel?) Alongside dreams of joy, justice and peace for all, I allow myself to fantasize about colliding brick to skulls and watching, gleefully, as brain matter becomes a bloody slush. That makes me no better than them. 

Yet this thirsty, righteous rage fuels my love. It gives it purpose, range and complexity. Without anger, and its subsequent transformation, my love caves into apathy. And in this war, there is no room for that.

My antithesis to mourning black death is to live my black, queer, fat ass life—abundantly with little room to doubt my greatness. Without fear, without limitations. Without looking behind my back, wondering who’s gonna bash me next. 

I fight with love. My words a tender kiss for every swung fist. My voice a soothing song to every vile slur. My body, empowered and protected by an army of fat femmes, and non binary beauties, becomes a site of opposition. We carry the weight of the dead by remembering the fluidity of their lives. We honor them through ritual, prayer, and dance. Their spirits move through us as we sweat , as we moan, as we cry out and beat our feet against cold pavement.

My black queer fat ass love is radical because I commit to it. I relish in it. I have survived because of it. I have loved, and been loved, in a society set on terminating my existence, little by little. Bit by bit. Tenderness and community have been the greatest salve against the irritation of injustice. It has been my greatest contribution to resistance. Our fight is not only won on the frontline of protests. When our existence is a political statement, our site of resistance is boundless. 

We resist in churches and schools.

We resist in government offices.

We resist in homeless shelters.

We resist with words.

With dreams.

With pleasure.

We resist in the street.

We resist in the night.

We resist in our beds, wrapped up in warm arms with wet kisses on our foreheads. Or alone, contented with holding ourselves tightly.

Love won't conquer all, true. But love fueled by righteous anger, dedication, and action will get us through the next four years. Love that is transparent and acknowledges imperfections. Love that is triumphant and resilient. Love that is courageous. Love that strips us down to build us back up. Stronger and more capable to carry the weight of liberation together.

Today Trump becomes our 45th President of these United fucking States. It’s a terrible truth, but at least we know who we’re up against. As we step into unknown territory, please remember to be tender to yourself and your loved ones. Hold them close and remind them how much you love and value them. Don’t just check in, show up. Be present and open to love. 

During these times, love and community becomes our greatest weapon and anchor against what’s coming our way.  We need you. We need each other. 

PS: Also sign up for kickboxing and self-defense classes. Learn how to shoot straight.***